God's Hat
God's Hat
Story

Once upon a time, there was a village with a road that went straight through the center of town. One day, something strange happened. God walked down the road . . . and she was beautiful! She wore a long flowing robe and on top of her head there was a wonderful hat. All the people stopped to stare at God as she walked by, and they kept staring until she disappeared in the distance.

“Boy, God sure was beautiful!” said one man. “And what a beautiful blue hat she had on.”

“Yes, God was beautiful,” said a woman from the other side of the street, “but it wasn’t a blue hat she was wearing. It was a red hat!”

“You are wrong,” said the man. “It was definitely a blue hat!”

“No, you are wrong,” said the woman. “It was definitely a red hat.”

As the two argued, others joined in the dispute. Soon the whole village was arguing. All the people on one side of the road were certain that God was wearing a blue hat. All the people on the other side of the road were certain that God was wearing a red hat. People got mad and started screaming at each other. Finally, the people got so angry that they decided to build a wall that went straight down the center of town. From that point on, the people on one side of the wall were enemies with the people who lived on the other side of the wall, and they never spoke to each other. On one side of the wall, the people built a church where they worshiped a God that wore a blue hat. On the other side of the wall, the people built a church where they worshiped a God that wore a red hat.

Many years passed, and the people were still enemies. Then one day, God came walking back through the village. She was smiling and balancing on top of the wall that the people had built many years ago. This time she was wearing no hat at all. All the people ran to the wall and cried, “You must settle our argument!”

“Yes,” said one man. “The people on that side of the street say that when you walked through the village many years ago, you were wearing a blue hat! But we know better. We know you were wearing a red hat. So tell us, God, what color was your hat?”

God looked puzzled for a moment and began to scratch her head in thought.

“I think I remember walking through this village many years ago,” said God. “And on that day, I believe I was wearing my hat that is blue on one side and red on the other.”

And saying nothing more, God continued walking down the wall until she disappeared off in the distance.

It was very quiet for a moment. Suddenly there was the sound of one child laughing. Then another child started laughing, and another. Soon the whole village was roaring with laughter. Everyone was laughing because they realized how foolish they had been.

As the sound of laughter grew louder and louder, the wall began to shake and crumble until, finally, it came tumbling down to the ground.

For many, many years after that day, the people told the story of God’s hat, and how laughter had torn down the wall between a divided and foolish people.

Storytelling Notes: This story is based on an African legend that Christopher Buice heard thirdhand. All details are of his own invention. This is a good story for audience participation. You can divide the congregation or class in two and have them yell “Red hat!” and “Blue hat!” at each other during the appropriate time in the story.

About the Author

  • The Rev. Chris Buice is minister of the Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville, Tenn.

For more information contact worshipweb@uua.org.

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